Good communication throughout a design project is essential to making the best use of time and ensuring that you get the best possible results. This means both parties giving equal time and energy for the benefit of the intended outcome.
Sometimes this is not entirely possible, but at the very least, reviewing work and providing clear feedback is crucial. The key is to be subjective, to understand the project objectives and to take into account the reasons for each design decision.
Here are a few pointers to help you get the most from your design team:
1. Be open and subjective
Some of the best feedback we've experienced has been when our clients have remained subjective, leaving behind all preconception, putting their intended audience first.
Conducting your own primary research, giving your customers a say on the design direction you should be taking and garnering your own feedback can all be extremely powerful in ensuring the best decisions are made.
2. The more (quality) feedback, the better
Basically, try to be specific with your feedback and give reasons why. A good designer will not be offended by constructive feedback; at the end of the day, our job is to produce high quality work in order to surpass your expectations. Be honest, explain your reasoning and equip your designer to move the project towards completion.
3. Provide a dedicated point of contact
Over-communication can also be an issue, muddying the intended message and taking time away from the design process. To prevent this, simply provide a single point of contact and summarise all feedback into one email, one meeting or one phone call.
4. We're human too!
Don't be shy in bringing up potential issues and design feedback, but keep it friendly and honest. Things can be easily amended and rectified. Just don't be this guy!
5. Give examples to support your feedback
Often ideas and concepts are lost in translation. We get it, you're not a designer and it can sometimes seem like we're talking Russian when describing a design change.
We often provide real world examples of design elements and you can join in by simply finding cases of similar ideas to support your feedback. This saves a lot of time and affords both parties insight into each other's thought processes.
6. Ask plenty of questions
Opening up dialogue by asking questions is a great way to create mutual understanding and brainstorm ideas together. If you don't understand anything, bring it up. There are no stupid questions.
7. Try to keep it balanced
Focusing only on the negatives will not help the project progress. Be constructive and try to stay unbiased in your assessments. Always bring it back to the problem you are trying to solve and allow the designer to propose the best solution.
Simply put, the end product will only be as good as the effort put in by all sides. Never be scared to pick up the phone, you may well be providing the vital bit of information needed to make your design project a success.
If you're struggling to get the best out of a scope of work, or would like a team that understands what you're going through, feel free to drop us a line!